SMEs: The Path Towards International Success
Università degli Studi di Udine - Department of Economics
Michela C. Mason
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 9, 2011
Oxford Journal, Special Issue: Emerging Trends and Issues in Management and Economics, Association for Business and Economics Research (ABER), Vol. 8, No. 1
The role of Italian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the international economic environment has attracted the attention of many scholars due to the distinctive features of these firms. In particular, their development and longevity paths are critical to a better understanding of the main characteristics of the global economy. Although Italian SMEs manage many of the same issues of other companies, they must also face specific problems, mainly related to their status and to the entrepreneurial behaviour of firm owners. Nevertheless, few empirical studies have stressed the importance of human resources and entrepreneurial behaviour for the performance and growth of Italian SMEs, especially in the international environment, where keen competition and difficulties of obtaining the necessary resources are often insurmountable barriers for SMEs.
The main goal of this study is to suggest a “holistic” model to analyze the relations between the internal determinants of the internationalization process of SMEs, by integrating individual-level and firm-level features. The analysis, based on the theories of individual cognitive aspect, international expansion and business strategy, explores the process of internationalization of SMEs from a cognitive perspective. Finally, the present study stresses the central role played by individual expectations and risk perception in understanding the international expansion strategies of SMEs.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: SMEs, Internationalization, internal determinants, structual equation modeling
JEL Classification: M00, M10, M13Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 30, 2012
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